Saturday, January 30, 2010

My love letter to "Y tu Mama Tambien"

I got this idea to write letters to movies from my favorite cartoon character, Homer Simpson.

Dear "Y tu Mama Tambien",

You are easily in my top ten list for favorite movies ever. Do you know why? Because you get it. You're funny, heartbreaking, relevant, but above all you're honest about issues we all take for granted. The issues I talk about are things that affects us everyday, things that we want to say but don't, or the injustices going on around us but ignore.

The most obvious thing people notice about the movies are the shocking sex scenes. Most other movies use sex as a gimmick to entice 14 year old boys to sneak into the theater (not unlike making movie in 3D), however you realize that sex is more than just a's something that two people need to feel alive... they can live in sin or spend the night all alone. You realize that there is weight behind the act and it effects everyone around you whether they want to admit it or not. The actors bear their souls on the screen and reduce themselves to the instinctual animals we all turn into when we are in the act.

The friendship between the two boys in the movie does not fit any focus group's or (God forbid) reality show's ideology of how teenage friends act. It's just two gifted actors portraying how two people from two different socioeconomic statuses have the same needs: to have fun and enjoy their ever fleeting youth. When the older woman agrees to take a road trip with them, the boys can't believe it and neither do we. Instead of giving the older woman a stupid cliche personality, you gave her motivation and a reason to be vulnerable. We see why she wants to leave her life, she feels trapped like a lot of people do and is trying to find a way out. Actress Maribel Verdu portrays this woman's intentions shockingly and without hesitation, something you rarely see actors do lately.

But the sex is probably the only thing people are going to notice if they watch it absent mindedly. You touch up on a lot of social issues in Mexico. Instead of waving signs or using painfully obvious allegories, societal problems are shown in a very subtle manner during the silences in your soundtrack and while the characters are contemplating their fate and the ones of those they care about.

Other movies tend to beat the audience over the head with social issues (like in District 9 or Crash) and give patronizing morals. Instead you use pertinent Mexican issues as a template from which you can explain the destinies of all the characters involved in your story. This is very clever on your part, because it lets the audience decide whether or not to focus on the story or the beautifully shot, yet horrifically depressing surroundings. You offer no solutions because you realize there are very few and the characters are only human.

The twist at the your end came as a shock but it was not senseless as good twists should be. I hope that as time goes on more people watch you and appreciate how intelligent and beautiful you are.

Adam Saleh

Friday, January 22, 2010

Some words lose meaning.

A reality show called "The Jersey Shore" is sweeping America as you no doubt know. This has caused a lot of people to ask me whether or not my place of origin is actually like that.

The sad part: it is.

It obviously is embellished and certain aspects of the Jersey shore culture has been stressed. How else is MTV going to get ratings? Make a show about my favorite pizza shop on Longbranch?

Actually, I'd watch that to remember how awesome pizza is.

I digress, the reason I bring this up is because there has been a lot of racket about how upset Italian Americans are over the flagrant use of the word "guido/guidette" on the the show. Aside from the fact that the people on the show refer to themselves as "guidos" constantly while degrading themselves during their 15 minutes, Italians have nothing to worry about.

The word "guido" was once used racially, but the problem is the word has been denatured of its original context nowadays. Before anyone gives me a history lesson, please remember that I lived and grew up in NJ, and have some authority over the use of the word. The word "guido" now is used to describe 30K millionaires, who wear gaudy expensive and tasteless clothing and use anabolic steroids in the hopes of getting laid. They don't understand steroids or strength sports and use them to pump their biceps while their quadriceps, calves and hamstrings wither away, but that is a talk for a different time.

Anyone can be a guido, in fact, Rutgers University (my undergraduate college) is over run with Indian as well as Arab guidos. It's sad, but if the money they spent on hair gel went towards investing into anything useful, these guidos would actually be as rich as they want people to think they are.

Regardless, the main point is guido is now a cultural word, no longer is it a racially derogatory one. Italian Americans can rest easy. People who are labeled guidos, are so because they want people to know about their narcissistic mask. In other words, they want to be seen this way. This is not unlike "goth" or "wigger" kids.

Ultimately the show "Jersey Shore" is likely going to tarnish New Jersey's reputation (if that's possible), not Italian Americans.

Monday, January 18, 2010

An open letter to Tamar Cohl

Dear Tamar,

I realize that your name means "palm tree" in most Semitic languages and that immediately gives you points right off the bat. Palm trees are by far one of my most favorite things. In your interviews you seem extremely intelligent and your workouts seem brutal and effective. The recent video of your shoulder workout was extremely impressive. Your lower body (especially your hamstrings)is quite amazing as well, you are clearly no stranger to the clean and jerk.

Strength sports and fitness modeling are very fringe and obscure despite the dedication of its adherents, especially among females. I think that you understand that, yet you press on anyway. What can I say about you that hasn't been already said? That you are an Iron goddess?

That seems too obvious. That you are better looking than almost everyone who is famous right now and haven't gotten your due yet? Possibly. I can see you as a femme fatale that can easily get the drop on James Bond.

Either way, I wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors, and always know you have a fan in Philadelphia!

Adam Saleh

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Summer Breeze...makes me feel fine...

Freezing weather today in Philadelphia, but the sun looks pretty. At least it did when I saw it five months ago. I wonder what the long term effects of a vitamin D deficiency has on the human mind on an otherwise healthy person? Good research topic.

First post.


Since I think twitter is the stupidest thing on the planet, I decided to start a blog about the random crap that comes into mind. This way, I can procrastinate studying and you can be almost entertained in between going to better websites and watching porn! Everyone is a winner!